Sunday, January 30, 2005

Mark this day...

I cannot retire for the day without marking this day.
It's an auspicious day.
A day of living history.

For the first time in 40 years, the Iraqi's voted.
Both men and women.
They laughed and danced and cried.
With a few dozen suicide bombs, about 40 people killed, they stood in seeingly endless lines, to cast a paper ballot into a plastic box that symbolized freedom, democracy, a renewed sense of hope... LIFE for the most oppressed....

Even the damn left wing liberal media could barely find something bad to report on.
I felt so smug and smiled to myself. :o]

Where does the time go?

So many thoughts, so little time to write it all down.
It certainly doesn't help that I am addicted to Snood.
Yes, it's official. I need a 12-step program. Or is that a 10-step program?
And to make matters worse, I am legit.
I registered and paid my $14.95.
Seemed only right after playing almost 600 games for nothing.
And I got tired of the little song and dance and bad poetry "commericals" that popped up about every three or four games to remind to me register.

Anyway...

So much has happened since I lost my days to the reorg at work.

Where do I even start?
I guess I should get the story of the The Ankle out of the way.

Two Fridays ago, I twisted my ankle as I stepped off the curb on my way home from a massage.
I guess I was way too relaxed but not so much that I didn't feel the pain.
The pain was like...*&^%&$*% and (*&$*^%!!!!
You get the idea.
Swollen for about a week.
A little bruising toward the end.

Then this past Saturday, on my way to Reggie Lewis to watch the Boston Indoor Games, I stepped on uneven sidewalk and, yup... I twisted the same stupid ankle again! ARG!!!!
A little more swelling, a little more bruising and another week of not running. GAH!!!!
So not happy.

And just so we all know... that is why you won't hear about running for yet another week.
So. Don't. Even. Ask.

On another note, before I forget...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMANDA PANDA!!! :o))

And another one...
CONGRATULATIONS, CHER!!! I am WICKED PROUD!
[Damn. I gotta get better to get running again so I can eventually step up training....]

DVR Note. I must say that I am very pleased with DVR. We record almost everything....and fast forward through the commericals. And when we watch something live, both Joseph and I have reached for the remote control to fast forward ... and can't. ARG!!! I am SO offended when I have to sit through the damn commercials!!!

Disbelief Note. A new tv show about a blind police detective. Blind. With Seeing Eye Dog. As in completely CONSPICUOUS. Right.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Hindi 101 - lessons anyone?

Well. It's done.
My Old Boss's last commitment to his senior management was to talk to me about doing an "ex-pat" tour of duty in India.
He can now mark that off his list of things to do before starting his new job on Monday.

I learned that my name came up during a senior management planning session as one of the people who could make this work.

The problem to solve is get this whole relationship in India better aligned and more corporate.
Because I've had some moiety of success in developing an organization over there, they thought of me.

The ex-pat definition is being re-defined by HR.
The variables are being re-examined.
The post-tour requirements are being redone.
And it seems that the career development direction is that no one gets promoted to senior management unless they've done this.

Being considered an "up and coming" can be exciting and difficult.
So HOW does one turn this down for no particular reason?
It might be construed as career suicide.
Especially if they are willing work out the details and redefine the parameters and make sure it balances out personally for you.
The idea of having house servants and drivers has it's allure, certainly.

So, I have committed to talking to the HR exec who is redefining this program.
At the very least, I can help with the corporate strategy.
At the very most, I can go over for at least a year, no questions asked.
And in between those extremes lies all the variables that need to be figured out for me to say "yes."

The only thing I am sure of is life is filled with CHANGE.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I finished a book.
Letters of a Nation is a compilation of letters. Some were slow-going but others sent me into laughter. My favorites were in the humor section and those from Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were especially funny. And the famous letter from Virginia "Is there a Santa Claus" and response were there. Not for the ordinary reader looking for an adrenaline rush. More for those who would like something insightful, thought-provoking, or a glimpse into the life and times during America's history.

I have started a new one for health.
We will see what we shall see.

Oh. And I am totally stressed out at work....
Nothing new.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Baby, it's cold outside...

and snowing. Again.
They are predicting another 5-10 inches.
So insignificant compared to the blizzard that dumped 3ft this past weekend.
Supposed to be above freezing this weekend so people are expecting a melting.
Huh? A melting? At 33*? Alrighteee.....
Not sure where they are going to be putting today plow-piles...
The snow banks are already up over 25' in some places.

And from the new this morning, it appears that the Great Salt and Sand Pile is now a Short Salt and Sand Pile. Egads! I hope we don't run out.

The ankle is less swollen... still a little discolored but ever the slightest shade of gray - you have to see it in the right light to notice it...

No running for me today. No lifting, no swimming, no biking, no nuthin...


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Borg

Resistance was futile...
I have been assimilated...

I have been SUCKED into the VORTEX!!!
and there is no way out....

AGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cleanliness is one step closer to...

...godliness...or at least one less reason to procrastinate....

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, I wonder what a clean desk refers to?

I've been at work for 3 hours and I have cleaned my office.
No small feat.
Shredding alone consumed 30 minutes.
All the while with Debussey Piano Preludes (and there are a lot of them) playing in the background.

Any bets on how long this godliness lasts? Anyone?

Fast Forward

So, since last Tuesday...

been reorged at work,
got a new boss,
survived the blizzard of '05,
twisted and sprained my ankle,
made bread,
lost an earring,
found an earring...

it's been a very busy week.

now I am sitting here looking at my calendar at yet another very busy week...

stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

There's Still Time...

Do you THINK I got up and biked this morning before work?
HAH! Of course not. :o[

I took an Aleve last night before going to bed.
My quality of sleep was much better.
I think my muscles hurt in the middle of the night, keeping me from getting my best sleep.
I might have to take Alever every two or three nights.

Got up this morning to the weather.
And laid in bed, as in every other morning...
Fending off the Dingle Doggie as she flaps her tails and whomps her butt on the floor to tell me she is SITTING and therefore, I should GIVE HER A DAMN TREAT!!!
And I continued to lay there.
Two treats later, I rise out of bed... and oh.... too bad...gotta go to work...
Guess I'll have to bike after work.
This means, I will leave work, go to the gym, lift weights, go home, hop on the bike...
I am starting to like this routine...gives me a kind of "purpose" for the day - other than to get back home to be with my Hunny Bunny...

Random Thoughts: Anonymous

So. I have this spy phone at work (aka caller-id).
I've had it even before people knew what caller-id was.
When I first started here 13+ years ago, they were further back technologically than what I had been used to. But the phones! Man, they were state of the art!
Now we are using VoIP in some of the offices, especially internationally.
I am trying to get Joseph to take a look and see if it's something we want for the house.

Anyway... the phone just rang.
It told me it was an external call.
And no number.
No nothing, other than "Incoming Call.....InX".
Well... I KNOW it's an INCOMING CALL!!! GAH!!
Who is it from???

I hate it when the phone does this!
I depends on the calling person's phone system, whether they have caller id blocked, blah blah blah...
Now there are legitimate reasons why caller ID should be blocked - doctor's, lawyers, etc etc etc.
And you have those people who are unreasonably paranoid. I figure if you to talk to me, there should be full disclosure and you should tell me who you are. Sort of like putting your face up to my window when my office door is locked so that I can look up and see that you want to talk to me BEFORE I open my door!

When I get an unidentified call, and I pick up the phone, it's usually some recruiter, vendor, magazine, telemarketer.
When I do NOT pick up the phone, it's Joseph. ARG!!! And I ask you. Why? WHY?? Doesn't his caller ID show up???

Just got a call.
Incoming Call...InX.
No message on the voice mail,
Must have been a telemarketer this time.
1-0, my favor, for the day! HAH!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Happiness is...

...coming home to your Hunny Bunny with the wonderful aroma of beef stew wafting up from the kitchen...
...having the Dumb Dingle Doggie come running up to see you, so happy to see you that her enthusiasm can't be contained and which is shown by little grunting sounds and little love nips on your hands and wrist...
...finishing up a couple of things after overcoming the constipation of inertia due to a stupid presentation...
...starting the week off with a run...

Ran 3.1 miles at the gym.
Once I resigned myself to the fact that I would be running on the treadmill,
and after I complained about my hangnail,
and whined about my ITB,
and lamented over my foot,
it turned out to be a good run.

Amazing what happens when one accepts what one can't change.

And... DVR is amazing. I can't believe we lived this long without it.
I love recording the shows and watching it when we want to!
Total. Control.

How Do You Spell "Relief"?

The presenation is done.
I sent it to my boss to let him know that I am done.
And done is done,
and PLEASE do not give me any more suggestions,
and I do not need any meddling to make it any better because
as far as I am concerned, it is done.
Done.
Done.
Done.

Do. I. Make. Myself. CLEAR???

Done!!!! Yeah!!!
Happy Happy Happy!!

Now that I am looking around my desk, I have two OTHER pressing things to do - I knew I was pushing priorities to the side as a result of my procrastination but I didn't realize how CLOSE to Drop Dead I am. GAH!!!

However....I will leave at 4pm and run.
It's a new week with a whole new set of goals, after all!
And more opportunities for new procrastinations! :oD

Hmmm.... I wonder if my Hunny Bunny is trying to email me?
For some reason his yahoo mail doesn't come through....

Motivation is a Commodity

I have been at work now for about 3 hours.
(Yes, I know it's a damn holiday!)

And I've surfed the internet, got organized, played a little Snood, and blogged.
I HAVE GOT to do this damn presentation for Wednesday!
All I need is 5 or 6 slides.
That's all!

I am not what you call a Visionary.
I am what you call a Strategiest and an Implementer.
I know what my strengths and weaknesses are.
Up until now, I've done really well living the philosophy of emphasizing my strengths and not allowing my weaknesses to get in the way. I apply that same philosophy to managing my group. They all bring something to the department, each of their strengths strengthens the total group. I never understood the mentality of the traditional development plans that tried to eradicate the weaknesses by "working on them." What does that mean?? What does it mean to work on someone's weaknesses? If you are paying attention to one thing, then presumably you are not paying as much attention as you should to the other. If you pay attention to Weakness, then how do you give Strength the full attention it needs to develop?

I am not interested in the weaknesses of my staff. I only want to know enough to keep to them from getting in the way of of the strengths. I am interested only in exploiting the strengths of the individuals to their fullest potential.

My strength is in strategy. Give me a good vision and I can strategize an implementation to hell and back. I can feel passion in it.

But give me a rough idea of something in the air, vaporware, even one that I can be passionate about (in the strategy and implementation phases), and you could wait a LIFETIME for me to put that idea into a vision.

And that is where I am right now. I am having to exercise the upper right lobe of my brain (the Vision Quadrant), and I am in a quagmire, sinking as if in quicksand... Sure, I can manage to pull myself out, bully my way by thrashing wildly in hopes of gaining a fingerhold in the sides of the dark cave I feel that I am in. And I will come out of the cave eventually, but not without a lot of blood and tears, totally spent. And with all this work, I need an equal amount of time to rest and rejuvenate. The more I work on stuff like this, the more I need to procrastinate and do nothing. Yup, I've been more productive before. That is for sure.

Weekly Recap

If it's Monday, it's recap day...

Last week, my goals were to do the following:
  • Run 3-4 times. This is my base week of a four-week cycling program. Last week was just a "warm up." This week was pretty important because it's the basis on which all other weeks will be based. I did pretty well with this. I ran 4 times with a 3.9 mile long run yesterday. I ran outside because running on the treadmill for the fourth time in a row would have sent me over the edge. It was a very good run along the Charles.
  • Swim 1 time. I went to the Y with Joseph on Saturday and swan 6 laps, one more than last week. Still pretty steady in the 1:10 range each lap.
  • Lift 2-3 times. I did very well with this one. I lifted 3 times - whole body workouts.

The coming week, my goals are:
  • Run 3-4 times. This is the second week of my four week cycling program. The goal is to increase by total weekly run by 3-4 miles, but NOT increase my long run. This means my weekday runs will have to be a mile longer. Today is snowing so I will go up to the gym and run on the dreadmill. Once I accept the fact that it will be a dull slow run, I can dreadmill for a hours. Today is a 3-miler.
  • Lift 2-3 times.
  • Swim 1 time.
  • Bike 2-3 times.

Joseph and I set up the bike on the Cyclops yesterday. We got it out of the basement and it was all dusty, so of course I started freaking out. Joseph sent me on my run to calm down - which I desperately needed. When I came back the bike had been cleaned. I couldn't believe it! He used a little water and a little soap and, wah-lah... clean clean clean. I have the BEST Hunny Bunny in the world. He is always giving me little surprises like this. I cleaned the chain - a little oil and a towel while spinning the chain, and it's clean enough for "gubment werk." Afterwards, I got up on the bike, trying out the shoes, made sure I remembered how it all worked...it felt good. Sort of like coming home. :o)

Anyway, we cleaned off the old Mavic Cosmos wheels (pretty standard on bikes when I got mine) and put them on since I don't want the tires on the Heliums to be all worn out. I don't think Mavic makes these wheels anymore - I think they were replaced by the KSyriums...anyway... The Heliums have a Vredesteins on them - in red to match the wheels, of course. :o) We pumped them up and then put them into the new wheel cases I ordered and they are happily hanging in the basement, all clean and protected.

I looked in on my bike a few times last night and it seemed very happy sitting in the front room, all ready for me tomorrow morning. My goal is to get on the bike in the mornings because it will be too easy to put it off until the next day if I wait til I get home from work. I am getting excited about getting back on the bike!

So, I am very please with last week's efforts.
Of course, I didn't lose a single pound. Grrr...
That's okay. It took me 6 months to put the weight on.
I figure it will take about 18 months to take it all off.
Great. Now, that's encouraging....

Friday, January 14, 2005

Anyone have some motivation to spare?

I am so not motivated to go run right now.
GAH!!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Running Note. 2 miles. Right on schedule.
Lifting Note. Rest day.
Wine Note. None. Not unless you count the wine that Joseph put into the chicken he cooked me for dinner tonight. :o)
Food Note. Had a good day. Getting ready to ruin it all with a couple of hot-off-the-pan chocolate chip cookies. I love Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookie dough. Thank you, Gina, for making it for us on New Years Day!!!

So, I came home tonight to the aroma of a delicious dinner wafting through the air from the kitchen. Joseph had tried out a new chicken recipe for dinner. It was so delicious! With garlicky spinach, avocado on the side... And he also started the laundry, and all I did was just sit and eat and put the dishes away afterwards. I have a wonderful Hunny Bunny. It's a wonderful give and take in our relationship. It was rough going for a while since I was used to being in a situation where I had to do pretty much nearly everything when it came to domestics. Except maybe the laundry but then, mine was never included in the pile that got done unless I did it myself. Anyway... after Joseph convinced me that I didn't have to do every little thing, the stress markedly decreased. Even though I still feel twinges of guilt whenever I am late coming home because I worked out after work... Like tonight. People have asked me if he has a brother who is available - the answer is "no." However, there are other guys out there that are a lot like him, I think. Now that I know what to look for, I can recognize the signs and name a few - Parker Parker is like that, I suspect. And our friend eebee (I mentioned him in an earlier post this week), and a few others. Hmmm... come to think of it, I think they are all taken...

Today was a tough day. My whole body just aches. And I am tired and out of sorts a bit. I can't understand why since I've been getting about 7 hours sleep. I know that the body aches are due to the weight lifting that I am getting back to after a month off. My butt, my arms, chest, neck... NOTHING is not hurting. I know I've said this before but coming back is the worst part of taking time off. Anyway, I spent a lot of time procrastinating today - out of sorts, inattentive, blah blah blah...

Tomorrow is supposed to be in the upper 50's and around 60. Today it was around 37*. Strange weather we are having around these parts.

Speaking of weather... my girlfriend Joanne is coming to visit on the 28th (I know. It's got nothing to do with the weather). We are planning to go to dinner. Boston Magazine just put out their list of Top 25 Best Restaurants. We will pick one from the list, and Joseph and I are planning to go to every single one!
Azure (review)
b&g Oysters (review) - been there
Blue Ginger
Caffe Umbra
Clio
Craigie Street Bistro
Great Bay
Grill 23 & Bar
The Helmand - I've been there but I don't think Joseph has - the owner is the brother of the president of Afghanistan - a bit of dining trivia of sorts
Icarus (review) - one block down from where we live - you'd think we'd go there a lot.
No. 9 Park
Oishii
Oleana (review)
Olives - I also went to this one about 10 years ago when it first opened and it was very good. I am not sure if Joseph has been but I'd go again.
Radius - okay. I've been avoiding this one because of the noise level when I stepped in there once to check it out for a business lunch once...maybe it's time to reconsider...
Restaurant L - I don't know. Something about eating in a restaurant at a retail store... another reason why I've never been to Cafe Armani - we night have to do this one last...
Salts (review)
Spire (review)
Teatro (review) - been there done that a couple of time. Very good and would go again...
Ten Tables (review)

Uni - at the Eliot Hotel where Clio is... but they supposedly have the best sashimi - I. Must. Go. There.
Union Bar and Grill - right up the street yet again - we've been there a couple of time - excellent. (some fancy schmany web stie - sort of a riddle to click on the right button get the stupid menu... Ugh!)
Upstairs on the Square
Via Matta - been there and very very good...
Via Valverde

We haven't been to a few they also mentioned but didn't make the list:
Pigalle (review)
Rialto

One would think that all we do is eat...

I am in big-time procrastination mode.
GAH!!! Another stupid presentation for next Wednesday and I don't even know where to start.
There are SO MANY things that relate to each other and I don't know how to give an indication of that, while focusing in on the topic at hand.
And of all the things that relate to each other, ALL of it is way complicated! ARG!!!
I am not sure I like being a VeePee. :o[

And the New Car isn't ready YET!

All I gotta say is...
I broke my dumb umbrella.

And it's raining. :o[

But I will say that the morning started off better than usual.
Got to the front of the building and my finance guy who I am friends with carried my HEAVY laptop case up the steps and through the revolving doors for me. AND when we got to our floor, he even held the door open! Random acts of kindness. I think this bodes well for the day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Running Note. 2.02 miles at the gym. Started out slow and took it up to a 7:53 pace for about 200. Felt really good to be running.
Lifting Note. Total Body workout at lunch.
Wine Note. None.
Food Note. Had an okay day - pizza for dinner. Not too bad - we split a small pizza.


Marathon season is upon us. From now until Patriot's Day, everything we eat, breathe, think, and do, will be geared toward training for the marathon. I am not running it this year and I am sort of relieved, truthfully. It's never been a "good" race for me. One thing or another always gets in the way of a good day. It could be due to a lot of things but most likely tied to the fact that This. Is. Boston. !!! Given that, the adrenline rushes more quickly because you can't ever run Boston easy, like a lark or a training run. You feel that you Must. Do. Well. Because it's Boston and because... well... you may never get the privilege to run it again. Ever.

I was toying with the idea that last year would be my last Boston for a while. And in case I might reneg on that, God decided to give me a little problem with my foot. So I will spend this spring, enjoying myself, ramping up my running like a novice once again, and watching the days and weeks go by helping my Hunny Bunny train for his Big Race on Patriot's Day.

We even have visitors from the Big Mid West who will be staying with us. Don and Francine. Francine qualified for Boston and Don is trying to get a number.
Don is a crazy man - as crazy as Francine is sane. He has run marathons in 50 states, on every single continent (I think) and I believe has even climbed the tallest peak in every state and every continent. Or something like that. He is now looking for another challenge to streak through but I don't know what he's settled on yet. He is also the race director for the Grand Rapids Marathon, where another friend we like to call eb (as in eee-bee - two syllables), won the race last year. Anyway...they are staying with us for the weekend. So for those who would like a bed in our house, You're Too Late!! :oD

Speaking of running, I will say that I trained twice today. I didn't want to take a couple of hours out of the middle of the day so I did weights for an hour at lunch, and then ran after work. Working out twice is really tough. I did add a few additional weight routines for the "swimming muscles." And wouldn't you know... the same neck muscles that hurt after I swam on Saturday. Go figure. Hmm. At least I'm training the right muscles!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Shifting Priorities

So, I was gonna go out there and run today after work.
But you know what comes next... I didn't.
I should know better than to WAIT. ARG!!!

BUT, the proverbial excrement is about to hit the cooling unit at work in the next couple of weeks.
I could feel it in my bones since the new year started.
I felt a general sense of unease settle into my body and I couldn't explain it away or optimistically smile it away, even if I couldn't put my finger on what was causing the sensation.

So today, I had a meeting with an SVP all by my lonesome.
By boss basically backed out of it or rather, told me to meet with him by myself.
Which could be a sign that he trusts me but this is pretty new and important stuff, so I felt like he was "pulling away."
And after the meeting, this SVP mentions to me that my boss has been generally unavailable even for him! GAK! And that is wayyyy serious stuff.

So, after the meeting, I cornered a colleague that sits in the office next to me.
I thought he had gone for the day but during my wrapping-up-for-the-day routine and getting ready to go run, I see that he is still around.
So, I hung around waiting for him to come back.
And he did.
And I had him stop over in my office and we chatted.
For more than 30 minutes.
And it was like pulling eye-teeth (whatever that is) and I was finally able to piece some information together.

And the conclusion is that the proverbial excrement is gonna hit hard and the cooling unit is already spinning at full force, so when it hits, I am gonna duck real fast...

Given that, I think I will be okay... because I did go over the worst case scenarios with this guy and he said that "they" were vehemently opposed to those scenarios, even through the eye-teeth that I was pulling.

All I care about is that my staff is okay. They have been through so much rending and gnashing over the last 3 or 4 years, and they have pulled from deep within and made so much happen in the last couple of years under my watch and all out of loyalty and trust. They trusted me to lead them in the right direction and I would have moved to another job for my own self-centered entertainment if it weren't for them - calling each other "family" and looking at me with trust in their eyes...

My general sense of unease is getting ease-ier...but time will only tell...

Food Note. Had a good day today.
Wine Note. Another good day.
Running Note. I am gonna call it a rest day. I still have 6 days to run 3-4 times. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, Tomorrow...
DVR Note. O.M.G. LOVE IT! Love it love it love it.... :oD

Sunday, January 09, 2005

If I'm Awake, It Must be Over...

...because I am awake. Phew! What a weekend.
So much to blog about, so little time.
And now that I am sitting here ready to blog, I am reminded how bad my memory is.

First. One word. DVR! Okay. It's three words squished into one if you are really counting...
I came home on Friday after work, and Joseph had yet another surprise.
He was watching something on TV with the Nephew (who was here for the weekend), and he picked up the remote and replayed something. I am happily going along my business... blah blah blah... uh... wait.... rewind... no really, rewind.... Helloooo..... We have DVR!!! After all the ranting and raving and doing nothing about getting TiVo, sleepless nights staying up to catch a favorite show or a new one that sucks you into it's vortex, with all the subsequent whining about how we need to get TiVo... we have DVR!!!! The Comcast cable version of TiVo, only we don't need to have a phone line to down load the TV schedule, and we "rent" the service for $10 a month. DVR!!! And right now we are recording Cold Case while we watch Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. Happiness!

Running Note. Today was another self-invoked rest day. The foot was a little tender and my entire right side of my body was in rebellion and spasm. I have no idea why. It's not like I've been doing anything for the past month and a half - other than sitting on my fat arse doing nuthin'. It's almost like the forced rest was freaking my body out and it started to slowly tighten and then it got worse, and it chose a bad vulnerable spot (my lower back, gluteus area) which decided to act like a the black hole of spasm, slowly sucking in the rest of my body. So, today, I decided if I went for a run, my body would quite literally crack in half. With a big crunchy rending sound, which I hear playing in my mind over and over.

Instead, I went and got a massage. With Arun. Wonderful Arun. Who had tendonitis in his hand for 9 months and only got better a few months ago. Arun, who understands the Psoas... almost as well as Kelly, the Miracle Man. He worked on the right side today. Front and back, for an hour and a half. Yes. Only the right side. And he thinks he has found the reason for the problems with my foot. The trouble slowly started January a year ago. And as the year went on, it got worse and worse and what I thought was a little knot got bigger and bigger. After talking with Arun, the conclusion is that my calves are really tight, on BOTH sides and front and back, all over which sort of attach to the bottom of the foot via a series of muscles that are called "stirrup muscles." The progession of the knot/spasm in my foot mimicked the tightening of my calves through the year. Anyway, we are going to be working on this. In fact... next week. :o) I am gonna go back for a few weeks, then once a month... and in between, my wonderful Hunny Bunny will help me maintain by taking out that massage table we've got folded away ... :o)) Happiness!!!

Tomorrow I would like to run outside. It's supposed to be freezing rain. I think it would be a wonderful experience. I've never run in freezing rain before... better than the boring dreadmill... the thought of running indoors makes me think that poking my eyes out with a stick would be fun...I'll see how resolved I am when tomorrow gets here...

Swim Note.
So, did I mention that I went swimming yesterday? I believe I did. So, we get into the car, we drive to the Newton Y, we change, and we get into the pool... and we swim. 5 laps. FIVE LAPS! I thought I was gonna DROWN!! 1:10 per lap - it was pretty consistent, give or take a couple of seconds. That took about 15 minutes total. FIFTEEN MINUTES. Then we got out of the pool, showered, changed, got into the car, and drove back home. The whole thing took over an hour to be in the pool for 15 minutes for exactly 5:50 of swmming. There has got to be a better way...

Then I am sitting around the house in the Mad Mayhem with the Dogs and all, and I am having a hard time reaching over my head. Who KNEW that I had muscles in my underarm area?? Then the middle of my lower half of my thighs are hurting. Who KNEW I never used THOSE muscles before. And my neck. Right where the next starts around my shoulder... who KNEW THOSE muscles could hurt like that?? I already have a whole set of weight lifting routines to add to my usual. Sigh... one madness leads to another...

Weekly Goal Recap. So far so good. I ran 3 times this week for a grand total of... drum roll please... 6.5 miles. Hoo wee!!! Yahoo! We're rockin' and rollin' now! Right.
I swam once. Good.
No alcohol from Monday through Thursday with freedom on the weekend. Yeah!

Next Week Goals:
  • Run 3-4 times.
  • Swim once.
  • Lift weights 2 times.
It is going to be harder. Work is in full swing and I have a full calendar ahead. I am also traveling to Smithfield twice.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

It's Madness

Okay. Is it time to REST yet???
I am so tired I can barely blog...


First let me start by saying it's SATURDAY.
It IS the weekend, right? RIGHT??

So far today...
Made bread
Made Yakimandu
Went to the Y and actually went swimming for the first time since I was 12
My entire body hurts...
AND we have three dogs here.
THREE.
At the SAME TIME.
Tomas and Henri are visiting while A and G are visiting in Nahant.

And it's been snowing all day.
Tomorrow I have a bunchastuff to do that I couldn't do today because of the snow.

I am so tired. I can't wait for the weekend to be over.

Running Note. Rest day. I went swimming instead. More on this tomorrow.
Food Note. Did good yesterday. Did good today. Blah blah blah...
Wine Note. It's the weekend, donchaknow... I had a martini and wine last night at Masa. Today had a beer at lunch and wine with dinner.

New Car Note. It's gonna cost $5k. And I don't mean as in 3.1 miles. I am talking 5 smackeroos. At least it's the cheapest new car I've ever had...Should be ready Tuesday or Wednesday.

More tomorrow...
*yawn...*

Friday, January 07, 2005

Yesterday Recap:

  • Running Note: Rest Day
  • Food Note: Had a very good day.
  • Wine Note: No wine last night. :o) Thank goodness it's Friday. Today starts the weekend and I can indulge in a glass or two of wine through Sunday night. Then it's back on the wagon.
I got 8 whole hours of sleep last night and I felt really good this morning. What a difference! Instead of sitting at my desk for two hours surfing the internet, trying to wake up and get motivated, I had a 9am meeting scheduled and I dove right into work! And I wasn't cranky or resentful about having to do so. Imagine what sleep can do for you.

I keep reading about the I-Pod. A part of me wishes I had one. The other part of me asks, WHY? I have tried to run with headphones - I have a little tiny radio about the size of a thumbnail (it has incredible sound and reception, even in the city) and after about a half hour I want to rip my ears off. I can't stand the sound of someone haranguing in my ear - even if it is a radio station. I switch from music to talk radio (my favorite) and even that won't work. I find that I like running in silence. This is the true at races, too. If I am stuck running the same pace with a couple of people blabbing along, I have to speed up to get away from them.

I have found that men and women have different conversations while running. Men will talk in phrases. They grunt and nod, and talk about very vague stuff. Women, on the other hand, talk about everything. And they about it all in PARAGRAPHS. And NOTHING is off limits - everything from work to husbands, to kids, and their friends. They talk about other women in amazing ways. They recount entire hours of conversations (seemingly, since I can't seem to hang around long enough before I want to commit some kindamurder) in amazing detail, usually with some level of judgment that basically ends with, "I don't understand why she doesn't just...[insert personal catastroph here]". And this is the norm and I can probably count on my one hand the number of women in the world who are not like this. And they are all currently my friends. :o) Before I met them, I had very few female friends. In fact, I had... let me think... NONE!

Time to get ready for my weekly meeting with the Boss...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Getting a New Car

Actually, the Subaru is getting a new engine.
It's just like getting a new car, except at a fifth the price.
I am so happy that I am crying...
Right.

The New Car might be ready by Monday.
I am going to Smithfield on Tuesday.
Watch it be ready on Wednesday.
Which works for Thursday, when I am going back to Smithfield.
But what about Tuesday?

Sigh...

Running Note. Another rest day due to the winter wonderland that is falling to the ground right now. I am hoping that tomorrow will be a good day to run outside. It is supposed to be in the 40's tomorrow. Otherwise, I will be relegated to the dreadmill once more. Ugh.
Wine Note. No wine yesterday - Day 3! 18 more days until it's a habit! Yahoo!
Food Note. Yesterday was a good day again.

I am reading a book. "Letters to a Nation." It is a collection of letters that people wrote throughout the history of America. It's a long book - about 423 pages. It is going to be hard getting through this book - not because it is dull but because I read during my commute. And my commute is about 5 or 10 minutes. Tops. Which means about 1 or 2 paragraphs at most. I have a feeling that it's going to be a long read.

But I will finish this book. In the past few year, I've started many books but have pretty much failed at finishing them. They lie strewn about with about a chapter or two to go. I will finish this book. Even if it takes me until July!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Hmmm... I think my sister should get a blog.
I might mention it to her today.

Running Note. Today is a rest day.
Wine Note. No wine last night. :o)
Food Note. Yesterday was a good day. :o)

Now that we have the obligatory progress notes... time to play...

But first, we must work.

Vacation Note. We are going to London this year. :o)) Yahoo. In May. We wll definitely extend the trip. We will know more later this month. Hopefully, we will be able to go to Scotland to visit distilleries and send back some hard-to-find golden liquid. We are also thinking about taking my sister with us but we haven't mentioned it to her so that we can look at the information first. I would hate to disappoint her. I don't think she's ever been to Europe. And I think that A & G might be coming along with us as well! I am VERY EXCITED. I wonder if there is a race we can do while we are there... Hmmm......


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

On Track

Running Note. 2 miles at the gym - a combination of running and walking at a BIG incline... I hate the treadmill at the gym. I can't watch movies and it's HOT. UGH! But I managed the two miles. Tomorrow is a rest day. Yahoo! :o)

My legs were aching during the running but now they are feeling better. Or could it be that they are just numb from added stress? Or could it be the celebrex I popped this morning actually kicked in?

Food Note. Came back to work and ate a big ass lunch. Lots of veggies and stuff. I am on track for my "Pyramid eating plan."

Every day, I need to have as close to the following as possible:

6 breads = 1 slice of bread or 4 crackers or 1/2 cup rice/cereal/pasta)
2+ milks = 8 ounces of milk or yogurt or 1 ounce of cheese
2 meats = 1 palm size of red meat or chicken or pork, or 1 hand size of fish, or 1 big palm of tofu)
5+ veggies/fruits = this one is rather easy... 1/2 C or 1 C leafy = fist size or 1/2 fist size = fruit
Others in moderation = nuts, olives, avocado


It gives me some freedom and flexibility and I can keep track without keeping count of the minutiae of calories and nutrition labels, etc. It helps me figure out what I can or can't eat at a restaurant.

This is one that a trainer gave to me specific to my running and lifting requirements.
The last time I did this, I lost 5 pounds in a hurry.
Problem is that after the first time, discipline has gone out the window.
I am hoping that it stuck around and I can do this again.

Wine Note. No wine last night with dinner. :o) I am DEFINITELY on track!

Relief!

No pun intended...

I have made three contributions to the Tsunami relief efforts:
  1. The Global Fund for Children - ($50) because children are the most helpless but have the most potential
  2. The International Red Cross - ($100) just because they are the Red Cross and are always there and because 100% goes to the relief efforts
  3. Give2Asia - ($100) because they have a lot of Asians helping Asians and because they help women, who I believe could change the course of the entire world if the most ignorant among us would just give them a chance
It took me about an hour and a half to decide. I gave anonymously. I can now mark one more thing goal off my list of Things To Do Before I Die.

It's not enough. It never is.
I hear that Sandra Bullock gave $1 million to the relief effort. Truly amazing...

Helpless

I have been on the internet for the past 30 minutes looking for a place to donate money to help the victims of The Tsunami.
There are so many organizations that I feel helpless to act.
My company also just posted a note and a special website citing some relief agencies receiving donations. Knowing how strict my company is about things and the level of integrity they demand from their employees and affiliates, I am going to go with one of the agencies on the list as opposed to the one listed on a local TV station I watch every morning.

I think that it's good to start the new year with a step in the Right direction.
It will hopefully lead off a year of Right living.
And a donation to the needy is a good way to start.

Reading about the lives of the people who were affected in SE Asia makes me so sad and everyday there is more news about people searching among the ruins for loved ones, and for food and water. To lose everything in one devastating moment....

We have so much here.
We are lucky to live in America.
I hope this lesson from Nature enables all of us to know how much we really have, no matter how down and out we might be.
I know. Easy for me to say as I sit in the warmth of my office, with my cup of tea, and my computer, knowing where my family and friends are.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Another day at work.
The first of the new year.

And things are not much different from the last work day of last year.
And so it goes.
All old things are new again.

Or is it that all new things are old?
Either works.

I have made several observations and discoveries today. I have discovered that I need to write down things I want to do as I do them. First, if I don't, inertia overtakes me and I just sit like a VEAL tethered to this box of an office and surf the internet - forgetting why I am here. Second, I tend to lose my train of thought or my purpose for the moment. All of this points to a short of non-clinical ADHD or rather, short attention span. But with a list, I can attend all my notice to that list and I will actually follow it! Go figure!

Running Note. (Yes, we are back to these. Thank goodness!) Today is a rest day, which is a very good thing since my legs ACHE from running those two lousy measly miles yesterday! The foot feels fine, however. Tomorrow I am scheduled for another 2 miles. I think I will do this at lunch...

Eating Note. So far so good. I eat every 3 hours, give or take. Oops. Time to go have another bite! No wonder I was getting hungry. Time will tell with dinner, though. I am swearing off wine (or other alcohol) from Monday through Thursday. Oh, the challenge of it all! Will I prevail? Time is against me... but we will see.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

2005 Goals Redux

My new 2005 Goals (as of 1/2/05) & their statuses:
Last status update:

1) Gain all-around fitness (prevent further injuries):
  • lift 2x/week
  • bike 2-3x/week
  • run 3-4x/week
  • swim 1x/week
2) Read 6 books

3) Lose 5 pounds and maintain

4) Put together wedding album
  • frame and put up pictures
  • pictures for the family
5) Visit my brother and sister

6) Visit 2 more baseball parks

7) Go to NYC at least 4 times

8) Compete in sports
  • run a marathon in a new state (dependent on my recovery and injury prevention)
  • run a half marathon in a new state
  • compete in a duathlon (bike and run)
  • ride in a half-century
  • ride in a century (dependent on riding in a half century)
  • run an ultra (dependent on my recovery and injury prevention)
9) Play golf 6 times

10) Go on a camping trip

11) TBD

12) TBD

Stretch Goals:
1) Go to Scotland and take a distillery tour, and take my sister with me
2) Go on a 7-day bike trip (dependent on a bunchathings)
3) Visit my girlfriend and goddaughters in DC

Yes. I know. It's a sad statement when it's only the second day of the year and they've been redone. Already. I know I know I know...Sheesh...


Warm Fuzzies...

A two mile run - first of the year - in a faster than expected pace after 6 weeks off.
A foot that feels ok in spite of the running.
A crisp winter day that isn't bone breakingly cold.
A hot shower with the shower radio on my favorite talk radio station.
Football on TV - the Patriot's winning yet again AND the Rams making the playoff...
Kimbap and Bindehduck accompanied by a snifter of Glenrothes 1992...should have bought a second bottle just to save...

And Hunny Bunny, making his wonderful sauce for Pasta and Gravy tonight.

Life is so good, I feel like hugging myself! :oD




Just a Couple of Thoughts

It seems we are going to Boilermaker this year after all...
Debbie thinks we should go.
Zee thinks we should go.
I guess we're going.
Time to make reservations at the B&B.

I am also rethinking my 2005 Goals because I don't think I have anything on the old list that expands my character. So far, I am on number 3 of the new list. 9 more to go.

Time to go for a run.
I think much better when I am running.
Hmmm... 34*.....
Time to bundle up!!!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Random Thought: What's it all about, Alfie??

So, I am thinking back to the point of this blog which was to put down on e-paper what I think about when I am running, what I've learned as a result of running, the actual experience of running, and all manner of running-related things.

I was reminded of this because I was scanning blogs of OTHER runners and guess what?? They ACTUALLY write about running. Mostly. 90% of what they talk about is running - filled in with a few other things.

I am now thinking back to my blog and discovering that over the past year, I have slowly segued from running and life to life and running. And mostly about life since running has been on injury-hiatus for the past six weeks. Six. Weeks. SIX! GAH!!!

Anyway... I think the digression isn't a bad thing. Some of the blogs about just running repeat ad nauseum all the stuff I hear the newbies on DRS talk about - stuff I delete because after hearing the same ole thing for the seemingly thousandth time, I run out of patience and think to myself, "Advice has been given before... Doesn't ANYONE AROUND HERE LISTEN???"

But then, I feel a small temptation to respond to these bloggers who have questions about the pains and travails I've gone through in the past ten years of running... ITB, PF, stress fractures, leg length differences, orthotics, etc etc etc... And THEN some - running through recovery after a horseback riding accident which gave me new apreciation of the ability to feel my legs even if they weren't moving... and the fact that one NEEDS arms to run as opposed to having it strapped to your side because you have a tear in the chromium... It's a SMALL temptation. I used to have a standard email for each one of the ailments and I would cut and paste these page-long emails to anyone who queried about the same - but I got tired of even doing that and I've deleted the emails a long time ago... Now, I think maybe I should create these again and use them as commentary to the blogs I've been reading...

I hope to be writing more about running in the days ahead... but I think life adds a little flavor to the running. A little.

On another note... a friend of ours just ran Across the Years.
He is up to 188 miles. Of running. On FOOT.
How's THAT for a running note? :o)

On a running note...

Tomorrow I start the process of deciding which 2005 Goals list I go with - the I-am-running one or the I-am-injured-so-I-won't-be-running one. :o)

Either way, I might change my goals anyway...
Life is never stagnant. I am thinking my goals shouldn't be either!
Until, of course, I forget about them. At which point they become stagnant.

Ahem.

Continuum...

Happy New Year, everyone.

Hmmm... I quite don't know what to say beyond that.

I seem to be devoid of feelings and opinions to start out the new year, which is unusual. I always have opinions! :o)

Usually, I have a whole list of dreams and wishes that are impossible to achieve or will never come true. Most of it was directed toward changing my person, the essence of my being, my body, my height and hair color, and changing my lifestyle within the narrow confines of what I was "allowed to do", and finding the all elusive "Happiness", which I couldn't define if I had to.

My life was series of do's and don'ts.
Like anyone else, growing up with parents meant strict boundaries of do's and don'ts.
Then I went college and joined a sorority. In the South. Which meant along with the usual rules about how to live and what to say, my world got even narrower - not just about how to live and what to say, but how to think and who to talk to and who to marry, blah blah blah... I went along because in a certain society in the South, going to college and joining a sorority was on the "do" side of the list.

But the chains I put on got tighter and they started to suffocate. Unhappiness hung over me like a small gray cloud. I couldn't put a finger on it, really. I just wanted to throw off my skin and be someone else.

Life was so short. I wanted to be happy but I didn't really know what that was. I had never really seen an example of it growing up and the world filled me with sadness. And I knew that I didn't quite fit in - not in the way I looked or the way I thought. And with all the people talking and laughing and living around me, something was always missing. And through my smiles and laughter and doing all the things on the "do" side of the list, there was a deep sense of loss and dissatisfaction that I could never put my finger on.

What's a girl to do?
I moved. Wah-lah. That must be the answer.

I moved to the furthest place I knew of.
The place that was dark and dank and cold.
The place that had people who did NOT have blond hair and blue eyes, who did NOT wear Tretorn sneakers and put their hair up in a pony tail to go to the grocery store.
The place that was the liberal in thought and deeds, and bred academia.
I moved to Boston. LOLOL! (Boston of course is so damn liberal it can be right wing conservative narrowminded at times but I am not going to discuss that right now...)

Happiness eluded me still.
Having broken free, I didn't really know what I had to do.
I had never had to confront myself, be alone and find out what I wanted and who I was.
Of course, no matter where you go, you take yourself with you so even though I knew that things could be different, I didn't know how to go about making it so. Things were different but I had no frame of reference for how to live.

Then Hwinliml came into my life with a whole new set of do's and don'ts. We would talk and I found we were similar in some ways but I never realized how many ways we were different. With in the dark and dank and cold, I grabbed hold and held on desperately in case this was Happiness and I might lose it. I lived under his rules and after so many years of grasping for life, and a few more in the realization that my life wasn't there, and then the dawning that desperation doesn't breed the happiness I was looking for, I decided to loosen my grip...

And so we fast forward to 2002. When I finally met my Dream, when I discovered I had Courage - that I wasn't all about just giving the best advice to friends but could actually do that thing I needed to do for myself, and that no matter what, living under a list of do's and don'ts is like... well... being assimilated by the Borg!

2002...when I discovered Happiness looking at me with a big broad smile across his face...his hand reaching for mine...

This time I grabbed hold of my Hunny Bunny's hand and I knew I would never let it go.

And here we are today. As complete as it is going to be since we first started our adventure two years ago. And so, I start the new year filled with love, happiness, contentment, good friends and family. With a great sense of wonder at road I've traveled to arrive at this place. The list of "do's and don'ts" sort of fell out of my pocket along the way, replaced with a new list of endless possibilities. There is nothing I could possibly want because everything I need or want is right here with me. True contentment is my constant companion, love and security envelopes me like a big fluffy feather blanket. And everything else is like thick caramel fudge on top.

Happy New Year, everyone.
I wish for you a year of Endless Possibilities....